The International Relations or Cooperation Office in the MEDA region is usually a small structure, dealing mainly with outgoing students and few incoming, if it exists at all. A lack of IR development lead to a situation whereby the MEDA partners find themselves increasingly isolated from current developments, trends and best practices. On a regional level, dialogue and cooperation are increasingly important as we find that the global marketplace becomes more and more divided into blocks.
International cooperation can be the key to many benefits; economic (fundraising, revenue from visiting students, investment or gains from research projects), social (cultural sensitivity, mutual learning and cooperation), and can assist in development through the integration of best practices and transfer of experiences. By working together regionally, MEDA HEIs can also begin to create a common ground for their cooperation, in areas such as quality, mobility, accreditation, joint research and programmes and projects.
TIES Project aimed to directly address the above by assisting the MEDA HEIs to organize themselves into a network exclusively dedicated to international relations affairs, provide relevant training actions to appropriate staff members, immersion into a fully developed and functioning IR structure on site visits, the production of guidebooks, and lastly, the promotion of national level dialogue to increase awareness of the importance of IR and develop strategies for its development.
The project directly addressed the improvement of international relations management which was the main expected output through experience transfer, training for capacity building, political actions to address institutional sustainability, planning procedures for internationalisation, and the network approach to formalise the project results.